Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Sunday morning at the airport.  §

Mornings at the airport. Been a while since I did one of these. The lines at any vendor selling coffee are endless.

I managed to incite a minor security panic through a combination of factors.

© Aron Hsiao / 2017

First, I had a leftover bottle of mineral water (still sealed) that I carried out of the hotel. I’d intended to drink it as I drove to the airport, but I honestly forget that it was there closed in the top of my bag.

Next, in the discussion of which things needed to come out of my bags for scanning, I forgot that I also had a mobile phone in my back pocket. I dutifully got the laptop and tablets out, etc. but didn’t put my phone in the scanning tray—and didn’t announce that it was there before I stepped toward the scanner.

Finally, because it was bigger than the travel-sized containers of toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, and so on (though still under size limits), I’d packed my hair product in a different place from the other containers. They all fit inside a little zip pouch, but it was just too big to fit there, so it was rattling around on the side of my bag along with my jeans.

Put those three things together (big unnanounced jug of fluid, little segregated container of fluid elsewhere in a bag that is separate from all other containers, unannounced and unusual phone in back pocket, trying to travel to the U.S.) and what you have is a line of security agents who are positive you’re trying to accomplish something untoward and just a bit frustrated that they can’t seem to figure out what.

Anyway, I got the full-body patdown, partial undress, packing and repacking, and an interview. I guess it’s been a while since I last flew, or I’d have been far more careful.

— § —

Because I was working during the second half of the week in these distant and unfamiliar environs, I missed all of the Trump news, which (as I learn about it) is rather startling.

Times are troubled.

— § —

I don’t exactly dislike flying home, but it’s never as pleasant as leaving.

There is nothing new to experience, no new goal to reach on the return trip. You merely have to wait for it to be over, so each minute feels as though it’s being wasted for you by the laws of physics.

In an ideal universe, you would travel in the Newtonian space on the way out—feeling the exhiliration of movemet and machines, seeing lovely, new scenery, etc. on a “trip” with a determinate duration—yet afterward, when returning, zap home in an instant without having to wait through the interminable wind-down.

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